The Central Regional Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Mr Thomas Baafi on Thursday appealed to the President to ensure the implementation of the Single Spine Salary policy to remove all forms of distortions and ensure fairness in salaries as well as condition of service for all workers.
He noted that, the new era of globalization demands new breed of Ghanaians who are responsible, civilized, committed, patriotic and honest, and therefore the onus lied on teachers to work harder to produce such human resources for the country.
Mr Baafi who made the appeal at the third Quadrennial Cape Coast Metropolitan branch of the GNAT's 50th delegates conference at Cape Coast, said this would be made possible if teachers were treated in line with the services they deliver and through adequate motivation, particularly for those posted to the rural areas, for them to give of their best.
The day's conference was on the theme “Teacher Unions' Response to the Challenges of Globalization: Professional Challenges”.
Mr Baafi observed that teaching is not only feeding children with information but also enhancing their socio-economic development, and advocated for a four-year Senior High School (SHS) programme, where students should not only learn towards examination but fulfil the needs of society.
He in that regard underscored the need for much provision to be made for teachers to upgrade their skills, because they need to churn out students who would be able to meet the challenges of the times and appealed that the distance education programme be given a serious view.
The Regional Minister, Madam Ama Benyiwa-Doe said the country's key to attaining a middle income status was education, and called for the dispassionate discussions of educational issues especially, the duration of the SHS programme devoid of politics.
She said government was working towards transforming education and that conditions of service of teachers would be improved soon, and urged them to upgrade themselves, but ensure that they did not do so at the expense of their pupils and students.
Dr George Oduro, the Director of the Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (IEPA) at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), for his part, stressed that the duration of the SHS was not a critical issue but the basic challenge was for the country to motivate teachers and provide teaching and learning materials to facilitate enhanced performance of both teachers and students.